As the Carbon Tax, in complete harmony with Treasury modelling, continues to have zero effect on Australian standards of living, so opinion polls reflect a majority of voters reporting the Carbon Tax has no effect on their lives thus far.
This highly predictable result reflects badly on Tony Abbott’s scare campaign on the Carbon Tax and has begun to impact on his electoral prospects as measured by those polls. Abbott’s scare campaign was so obviously deceitful that influential commentator Laurie Oakes has straight-forwardly called Tony Abbott a liar.
This is an important eventuality as Oakes’ comments are routinely included in the sound bites of commercial prime-time news media and hence have the capacity to influence the political understanding of the highly prized disengaged voter.
In a further deterioration of events for Abbott, his Carbon Tax scare campaign has become a target of fun on Breakfast televsion. Recently interviewed on Channel Nine’s Today program, Karl Stefanovic, aaccompanied by sniggers from his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, politely asked Abbott if he was insane:
[Mr. Abbott,] I have noticed you have had a particular penchant for animal references in the last couple of days. I will play a couple of these references now. Let’s have a look:
It’s going to be a python squeeze rather than a cobra strike… This is an octopus embracing the whole of our economy.
Have you been watching too much <strong>When Animals Attack?
No, look, I’m not going to make light of this Karl. I mean, seriously, on your programme, Karl…
But the animals are getting smaller!
But the carbon tax is getting worse. That is the thing. I mean, the Government has been making light of this. But no one, no struggling Australian family that’s getting its power bill is making light of this right now.
Abbott is not correct when he says no-one is making light of the Carbon Tax. In fact, most Australians currently think the Carbon Tax has little or no effect on their lives.
So, Abbott has lost his Cred on the Carbon Tax with serious commentators and the majority of voters. Even Breakfast Television presenters feel at liberty to laugh in his face on the subject.
No wonder Abbott in that interview had the queasy look of a socially dysfunctional geek concealing embarrassment after being discovered sleeping with his teddy bear on a school camp. Here’s the video. Take note of the highly uncertain smile.
He knows he’s one stage from disaster.
If Breakfast TV treats him as a figure of fun, then he’s dead.
KARL: Tell us Tones, is the Carbon Tax like a Squirrel Attack ?
TONES: Now, Karl…
[Cut to picture of unbelievably kyewt squirrel, wriggling cheeks stuffed full of acorns]
KARL: Or is it more of a Gecko attack ?
TONES: …the situation is unbelievably dire….
[Cut to image of Gecko harmlessly breathing on someone’s porch]
KARL: Perhaps a fluffy kitten attack ?
TONES: …the power bills are uh…
[Image of helpless kittens mewing piteously]
KARL: After all prices have risen 0.4% in the past year.
TONES: …cities will be destroyed..
KARL: Yeah, whatever. And in other news a Panda in Ecuador has given birth to Nonuplets…by Caesarian section.
Very Much Alive
But even though Abbott is staring at the reality of grand-scale public humiliation on this issue and the consequent destruction of his Prime Ministerial aspirations, he is still very much alive.
He leads in the 2PP 53-47, 51% believe that the Carbon Tax is bad for Australia (despite not affecting them personally), most have yet to receive their winter power bills and, most hopefully for Tones, we may yet still experience another Global Financial Crisis.
If those winter power bills are brutal then perception of the Carbon Tax will again turn for the worse (despite power bills rising 35% over the previous three years without any Carbon Tax) and if there’s another GFC, well, according to Tones, the Carbon Tax will have caused it. And he’ll be believed. Or at least believed that in a recession a Carbon Tax should not be levied.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.